Jamie K. Lim, BSc
Requests for Single Reprints: Jamie K. Lim, BSc, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lim JK. A Windbreaker's Warmth. Ann Intern Med. 2016;165:65-66. doi: 10.7326/M15-2247
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2016;165(1):65-66.
The first year of medical school is a humbling experience. As fledgling students of a profession defined by its hierarchical nature and wearyingly steep learning curves, we are constantly reminded of how little we know and how little we can do and regularly confront the frustrations of remaining useless to the ill. When we see patients, often we do the only thing we can: We listen. We observe. We absorb. And sometimes, unburdened by any practical agenda, aided by our very incapacity to move patients, we become moved by their stories.
One Friday afternoon, I walked into an examination room trailing the physician I was shadowing and met Katy, a 20-year-old with Down syndrome, and her father, Bryan. While Katy sat quietly in a chair adjacent to the computer, Bryan sprang up as we walked in and greeted us with a big smile. A stout, middle-aged man with graying hair and a friendly Boston accent, Bryan eagerly shook my hand and then, unexpectedly, offered me his chair. Embarrassed that he had already outdone me in being a provider, I politely declined, propped myself up on the examination table, and started listening as he brought us up to date on his daughter's medical progress.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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